Light of Morn
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June 2020
Nature Never Disappoints
My "Nectar Garden" has been badly overgrown for years.
Yet such a tangle of plants and weeds provides habitat for numerous insects.

Just now, my garden's Matilija Poppies are taking turns bursting into flower.

While admiring one, I noticed a tiny insect perched on a petal.
This was the first time I'd found a baby mantid in my garden.
This tiny baby rocked back and forth and scampered just like a full-sized adult!
In late summer, adult mantids show up to lay their eggs, hunt for food.
Two empty mantid egg pods found in my garden.
The pods contain hundereds of baby mantids identical to adults.
If hundreds are born, why aren't more seen in my garden?
The answer is numerous resident spiders as well as insect-eating birds.
Unable to get close, clear photos, I stepped away
and left the tiny mantid to continue its hunt for food.
Due to their size, predatory nature, adult mantids are a threat to hummingbirds.
Adult Mantids found in my garden are caught and released at sites rich in insects.

A couple days after finding the first baby mantid, found this fellow floating -
seemingly lifeless - in a pet waterbowl on my back patio. But notice it's eye?
I thought it was dead; wanted to photograph it later. However, after returning
from my walk, discovered the "drowned" mantid upright and looking at me.
I immediately released it into a warm place in my garden.
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